When I was preparing to leave school, if you had told me I would marry a dairy farmer and live on a farm, surrounded by cows, hay and cow shit. Wearing japara jackets and wellington rubber boots, I would have thought you were crazy. Yet, a year later I met a guy at a youth group social night and as they say, the rest is history. What follows is some of my most embarrassing and challenging moments as I became “The Farmers Wife”.
Let me introduce the farmer, since none of this story would have happened without him. George, like myself, had left school and was obviously very used to chatting up school girls, we were both sixteen at the time. We met at McNally’s gym, where the youth group had visited before, to take time out for a swim in the heated pool and basically hang out. It turned out the owners son was a good friend of George’s and it was pretty much common practise for him, as the only licensed driver, to pick up his closest friends and check out the visiting talent. George approached me with all the bravado of a veteran in the art of the ‘chat up’. His opening line, as he pulled out his ‘little black book’ was something along the lines of, ‘I haven’t seen you here before.’ To which I graciously replied that I had been with my boyfriend the last time the youth group had visited the gym. He was cute, I didn’t want to permanently deflate his ego, or shut him down, so I quickly agreed to give him my contact details, to add to his collection. We spent the evening doing what teenages do to attract each others attention, including the nearly fully clothed swimming pool toss. You know, where you pretend to not want to be thrown in and they pretend to try really hard, but you both know they aren’t. As I think about it now, I have to laugh and with a teenage son, it is so easy to see things really haven’t changed much.
With the gym time over, George followed the group to the pizza bar. It was at this meeting when he discovered I was no longer at school and was six months older than him. A surprise which never did seem to put him off, but it did slow his stride ever so slightly and necessitate a change of approach that night. As he left, he unlocked the passengers side of his old valiant; because the drivers side door didn’t open, turned on the ignition, which was accompanied by ZZ Top’s, ‘Sleeping bag’ and gunned the sweet sounding exhaust as he pulled away. Anyway, to cut the long story short, we dated after a rocky start; he had a girlfriend, then I had a boyfriend and eventually we connected. We married at the age of nineteen, to the confusion of some and the warnings of many. Our parents fortunately not included in either group. These stories are being written more than twenty five years later, so we can safely say we are pleased we did not listen to the naysayers.